Monday, November 13, 2017

Booked for Trouble (A Lighthouse Library Mystery #2)

Author:  Eva Gates
Genre:  Mystery

Paperback (LP); Mass Market Paperback; Audio CD; Digital Book; Audiobook
ISBN #:  9781410486585; 9780451470942; 1515900450
Berkley Publishing
304 Pages
$22.94; $7.99; $33.25; $5.99 Amazon
September 1, 2015

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Lucy has finally found her bliss as a librarian and resident of the Bodie Island Lighthouse.  She loves walking on the beach, passing her evenings with the local book club, bonding with the library cat, Charles, and enjoying the attention of not one but two eligible men.  But then her socialite mother, Suzanne, unexpectedly drops in, determined to move Lucy back to Boston - and reunite her with her ex-fiancé.

To make matters worse, Suzanne picks a very public fight at the local hotel with her former classmate Karen Kivas.  So, when Karen turns up dead outside the library, Suzanne is immediately at the top of the suspect list.  Now Lucy must hunt down a dangerous killer - before the authorities throw the book at her poor mother...

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When Lucy's mother Suzanne comes for a visit, Lucy is sure that she's there to take her back to Boston to marry her childhood friend Ricky.  Shortly after arriving at her hotel, Suzanne encounters Karen, a friend from school she'd rather not see, and makes a snarky remark to her about being a hotel maid.  The next evening, the two meet again at Lucy's book club, and the morning after that, Lucy finds Karen's body outside of the lighthouse.

It also turns out that a valuable necklace is missing from the hotel, and due to a suspected theft over thirty years ago, Suzanne is considered the likely culprit.  Lucy, of course, refuses to see her mother unjustly accused, and decides to find the killer herself.  But she also has to convince Suzanne she's not returning home and juggle two potential suitors in the process (and I can do without love triangles, thank you very much).

This is the second book in the Lighthouse Library Mysteries, and I really wanted to like it.  Sadly, I like Lucy less than I did in the first book.  She seems superficial - obsessed with everyone's looks and what they're wearing.  She even mentions how she's a "winter" (do we care?) but we've never gotten a clear view of what she looks like except for her curly black hair.  There is more than enough descriptions of clothing but not enough of people themselves.  We really never get to know much of anything about anyone; there's no character development.  And Lucy, the woman who lives alone in a lighthouse, is (still) afraid of ghosts.  Really?

The plot itself is decent in the beginning, but we never learn much about Karen except that she was a habitual complainer and no one cared for her.  Still, Lucy thinks she needs to find the killer and goes about trying to do so; but honestly, her thoughts wander and she sort of bumbles her way through things.  She doesn't seem very intelligent, which is unfortunate; because she's really bad at managing her own life, even if she's good at being a librarian.  I honestly would have liked to see her develop a backbone along the way.

I just didn't feel this book 'grab' me in any sense of the word.  The murder seemed to take second place to Suzanne trying to get Lucy to come home with her; she didn't seem to care that Lucy didn't want to marry Ricky.  Mothers like that I can do without.  There was so much focused on this subject that I lost interest in the murder.

In the end, finding out the killer and the reason why seemed rather weak to me.  It just didn't appear to be too realistic.  I never felt Lucy (or her mother's) life was truly in any danger, and there was no leading up to the climax.  Suzanne seemed just as gullible as Lucy, so at least I know who she gained her lack of intelligence from. 

All in all, an okay read for an evening, and since I've already bought the third book in the series I will read it, but unless it seriously improves I probably won't follow it past that point.  For the record, I do like this author; I just don't care for this series.

https://www.amazon.com/Reading-Storm-Lighthouse-Library-Mystery/dp/0451470958/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2183166369

More on Eva Gates's Books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/g/eva-gates/

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